There are 3 main definitions of leave in English:

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leave1

Syllabification: leave
Pronunciation: /lēv
 
/

verb (past and past participle left /left/)

[with object]
1Go away from: she left New York on June 6 [no object]: we were almost the last to leave the Bruins left for Toronto on Monday
More example sentences
  • As they came to the end of their set they left the Academy to masses of cheers.
  • A young college teacher leaves China for the United States in search of a better future.
  • An engineering locomotive came off the tracks as it was leaving Chiswick Park Station just after midnight on Saturday morning.
Synonyms
depart from, go away from, go from, withdraw from, retire from, take oneself off from, exit from, take one's leave of, pull out of, be gone from, decamp from, disappear from, vacate, absent oneself from;
say one's farewells/goodbyes to, quit
informal push off from, shove off from, clear out/off of, cut and run from, split, vamoose from, scoot from
set off, head, make;
set sail
1.1Depart from permanently: at the age of sixteen he left home
1.2Cease attending (a school or college) or working for (an organization): she is leaving NBC after 20 years
More example sentences
  • Robin leaves the School in the autumn after sixteen years to retire in South West France, with his wife, Verna.
  • Yup, they are singing my praises now that I am leaving high school and going to college.
  • After leaving primary school he went to Norwood College, a public school at Sedbergh not far from Kendal.
Synonyms
quit, resign from, retire from, step down from, withdraw from, pull out of, give up;
pack it in, call it quits
2Allow to remain: the parts he disliked he would alter, and the parts he didn’t dislike he’d leave
More example sentences
  • Additionally, if you leave an empty non-stick pan on a hot burner too long, you can roast the surface.
  • More commonly some material is left behind and only when it is removed surgically will bleeding cease.
2.1 (be left) Remain to be used or dealt with: we’ve even got one of the plum puddings left over from last year a retired person with no mortgage left to pay
More example sentences
  • Any sum that happens to be left over when a child reaches maturity is not liable to tax.
  • The four cards that are left over at the end of the deal are set aside until the end of the hand.
  • This compromise gives more certainty that more money will be left over for residents in the two areas.
2.2Go away from a place without taking (someone or something): we had not left any of our belongings behind figurative women had been left behind in the struggle for pay equality
More example sentences
  • You must go online or risk being left behind in the Internet Age, they are warned.
  • The independent sector was not left behind in the celebration of new heights being reached yesterday.
  • Since she was young, it may be that both ovaries were left behind at the time of hysterectomy.
Synonyms
leave behind, forget, lose, mislay
2.3Abandon (a spouse or partner): her boyfriend left her for another woman
More example sentences
  • Fathers prefer boys to such an extent that if they only had girls, they were more likely to leave their wife or partner.
  • Worse, eight out of ten find a PC failure more stressful than being left by their partner.
  • One woman phoned us to say she would leave but her partner threatened to do to her what he did to his wife if she did.
Synonyms
abandon, desert, cast aside, jilt, throw over
informal dump, ditch, drop, walk/run out on
literary forsake
2.4Have as (a surviving relative) after one’s death: he leaves a wife and three children
More example sentences
  • If at the time of her death, a widow leaves no eligible minor child, the payment of her share of the pension will cease.
  • As well as her parents and sister, she leaves a niece Kim and nephew Josh.
  • He leaves wife Norma, children Lee, Jesse and Caitlin, and grandkids Mathew, Jordon, Jamie and Emma.
2.5Bequeath: he left $500 to the Police Athletic League Harry had left her $5,000 a year for life
Synonyms
bequeath, will, endow, hand down to, make over to
3Cause (someone or something) to be in a particular state or position: he’ll leave you in no doubt about what he thinks I’ll leave the door open the children were left with feelings of loss
More example sentences
  • I am not sure if the position we are left with here truly counts as being a religious one or not.
  • She was left with terrible injuries.
  • The psychiatrist says there is nothing he can do and the carer is left with no avenue open to him but to keep on caring the best way he can.
3.1Let (someone) do or deal with something without offering help or assistance: infected people are often rejected by family and friends, leaving them to face this chronic condition alone
More example sentences
  • She got over it with tickles and biscuits, then strolled out into the garden, leaving me to deal with a spider the size of a cricket ball on the carpet in the lounge.
  • Teen years leave you to deal with a whole new choice of decisions to be made.
  • How dare he leave me to deal with everything, including his death, while I have to stay stuck in this body?
Synonyms
entrust, hand over, pass on, refer;
delegate
3.2Cause to remain as a trace or record: dark fruit that would leave purple stains on the table napkins figurative they leave the impression that they can be bullied
More example sentences
  • We concentrate on phosphorus as the nutrient that is biolimiting on geological time scales and potentially leaves a complete geological record.
  • The fourth walking appendage usually leaves the most lasting trace.
  • It chews its feet throughout the interview, leaving a damp doggy stain on the carpet.
Synonyms
3.3Deposit or entrust to be kept, collected, or attended to: she left a note for me
More example sentences
  • He was further outraged when he found the bag, left by refuse collectors, had no air holes in it.
  • Right, I leave myself notes in the text bit of my phone if I've not got a notepad with me.
  • Steve's tears were gone by the time he fell asleep, and Jude broke her calm for only a second to leave herself a mental note.
3.4 (leave something to) Entrust a decision, choice, or action to (someone else, especially someone considered better qualified): the choice of which link to take is generally left up to the reader
More example sentences
  • It is is irrelevant to his day job as party leader and I think he could have left it to someone else.
  • The article leaves it to the imagination how exactly the leftover bees in the cavity are to be killed.
  • But there is nothing inconsistent about leaving it to the states and not overturning the decision.

noun

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(In pool, billiards, snooker, croquet, and other games) the position of the balls after a shot.

Origin

Old English lǣfan 'bequeath,' also 'allow to remain, leave in place,' of Germanic origin; related to German bleiben 'remain'.

More
  • life from (Old English):

    The English word life is related to German Leib ‘body’, and also to leave (Old English), and live. The expression as large as life goes back to the days when portrait painting was common. Professional artists were expensive, and a good way of showing off your wealth was to have a portrait painted that was life-size. Early versions of the expression, dating from the mid 17th century, are greater or bigger than the life, with the modern form first recorded in the early 19th century. When someone lives the life of Riley they are enjoying a luxurious and carefree existence. Reilly or Riley is a common Irish surname, and the phrase may come from a popular song of the early 20th century called ‘My Name is Kelly’. This included the lines: ‘Faith and my name is Kelly Michael Kelly, / But I'm living the life of Reilly just the same.’ It is probable that the songwriter, H. Pease, was using an already existing catchphrase, but the song would have made it more widely known.

Phrases

be left at the post

1
Be beaten from the start of a race or competition.
Example sentences
  • In the Derby, she was left at the post, and her rider galloped her hard to get into good position.
  • The relegation issue delayed meaningful negotiations and we have been left at the post in the signings race.
  • Unless U.S. statesmen can wangle the rights to their use, the U.S. will be left at the post.

be left for dead

2
Be abandoned as being almost dead or certain to die.
Example sentences
  • He collapsed after reaching the top of Everest and was left for dead above 8000 metres by Sherpas.
  • What was once a world icon is now stipulated to be left for dead in the wake of the devastating plague.
  • He's a bigger person than most people would be who were left for dead by their friends, their teammates.

be left to oneself

3
Be allowed to do what one wants: women, left to themselves, would make the world a beautiful place to live in
More example sentences
  • Otherwise we were left to ourselves in the simple guest house which is used for retreats.
  • These people have their own ways and would rather be left to themselves.
  • It probably won't happen, however, if Bush's Washington is left to itself.
3.1Be in the position of being alone or solitary: left to himself, he removed his shirt and tie
More example sentences
  • For this young person to be left to herself in a country so far away could only expose her to danger.
  • All the conditions of line 6 are unfavourable, and its subject is left to himself without any helpers.
  • The blessedness of this doctrine is that he shall not be left to himself nor suffered to perish.

leave someone/something alone

4
see alone.

leave someone be

5
Refrain from disturbing or interfering with someone.
Example sentences
  • The facilities were good and clean, the staff were helpful and left us be when we wanted to be left.
  • He would have gotten more respect out of me if he just left me be when I asked him to.
  • Those who want our business approach us with friendly calls, and leave us be when we decline their offers.

leave someone cold

6
Fail to interest someone: the Romantic poets left him cold
More example sentences
  • He tends to leave me cold and I can't say I've enjoyed any of his films for over a decade.
  • Talk about having problems with billing - our experience with them has left us cold about their services.
  • If the last one left you cold, then only consider it if competitive multiplayer is your thing.

leave hold of

7
Cease holding.
Example sentences
  • Vasiliev, with whom I was walking hand in hand, suddenly left hold of my arm and sank upon the snow.
  • If so he would hardly have been prepared to leave hold of a piece of art of such a high quality.
  • Then the youth left hold of the cord for the first time in ten years, and a great joy descended upon him.

leave it at that

8
Abstain from further comment or action: if you are not sure of the answers, say so, and leave it at that
More example sentences
  • You're obviously going to leave it at that as you fail to find any more solid arguments to my replies.
  • Confronting the colleague is better than doing nothing, but leaving it at that doesn't go far enough.
  • We left it at that as I arrived home and walked into my house still jittery from the adrenaline.

leave much (or a lot) to be desired

9
Be highly unsatisfactory.
Example sentences
  • The architect they chose left a lot to be desired and the building gradually became vacant.
  • Many had come from standard, hierarchical organizations which left a lot to be desired on an individual level.
  • In its infancy, pin and ball were made of hardwood, leaving much to be desired with regard to uniformity.

Phrasal verbs

leave off

1
Discontinue (an activity): the dog left off chasing the sheep
More example sentences
  • He continued where he left off after the break and nearly gave his side the lead after 52 minutes.
  • In the second half the game continued in the same vein, where it left off at the break.
  • I swear it leaves off then, to resume work somewhere in my abdomen, causing the most uncomfortable swelling and, eventually, making it harder and harder to breath.
1.1Come to an end: he resumed the other story at the point where the previous author had left off
More example sentences
  • Since we last left off, there have been major problems that have arisen with regard to our building project.
  • They rode right into a squadron of our own cavalry, who dealt with them and finished where we'd left off.
  • Some even carry on a story from where tracks on previous albums left off.

leave something off

2
Omit to put on: a bolt may have been left off the plane’s forward door during production
More example sentences
  • Apparently, some people think I left certain characters off the poll because of prejudices.
  • About two months ago the dealer left a clamp off my radiator hose after servicing my car.
  • I considered buying it anyway, and leaving the wheels off - it would match what I have now.

leave someone/something out

3
Fail to include: it seemed unkind to leave Daisy out; so she was invited, too (as adjective left out) Janet was feeling rather left out
More example sentences
  • First of all, don't assume that the guys deliberately left you out or tried to make you look bad.
  • If the flowers are to be smelled along the way, that is a feminine prerogative, and leave us out of it.
  • There is no reason to leave us out of your tour dates, unless you simply don't want to come.
Synonyms
omit, fail to include, overlook, forget;
skip, miss
exclude, omit, pass over;
eliminate, cut, drop

Derivatives

leaver

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Although high levels of motivation are typical for non-school leavers, doing a degree is a long haul.
  • The share of all leavers who are disconnected rose between 1999 and 2002, from 9.8 percent to 13.8 percent.
  • I encourage all Year 12 school leavers to seriously consider the ADF Gap Year option.

Definition of leave in:

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There are 3 main definitions of leave in English:

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leave2

Syllabification: leave
Pronunciation: /lēv
 
/

noun

1 (also leave of absence) Time when one has permission to be absent from work or from duty in the armed forces: Joe was home on leave he took a leave of absence last year
More example sentences
  • Requests for consecutive years of leave of absence shall be for the reasons provided in this policy.
  • You are not allowed to enroll full-time in another university while on a leave of absence from Duke.
  • Full-time officers of research may take leaves of absence according to the policies described below.
Synonyms
2 [often with infinitive] Permission: he is seeking leave to appeal the injunction
More example sentences
  • The applicant seeks leave to appeal from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court.
  • It is against that dismissal that the applicant seeks leave to appeal to this Court.
  • I also seek leave to file in Court and read an affidavit sworn today.
Synonyms
permission, consent, authorization, sanction, warrant, dispensation, approval, clearance, blessing, assent, license
informal the go-ahead, the green light, the OK, the rubber stamp, the nod

Origin

Old English lēaf 'permission'; related to lief and love.

More
  • life from (Old English):

    The English word life is related to German Leib ‘body’, and also to leave (Old English), and live. The expression as large as life goes back to the days when portrait painting was common. Professional artists were expensive, and a good way of showing off your wealth was to have a portrait painted that was life-size. Early versions of the expression, dating from the mid 17th century, are greater or bigger than the life, with the modern form first recorded in the early 19th century. When someone lives the life of Riley they are enjoying a luxurious and carefree existence. Reilly or Riley is a common Irish surname, and the phrase may come from a popular song of the early 20th century called ‘My Name is Kelly’. This included the lines: ‘Faith and my name is Kelly Michael Kelly, / But I'm living the life of Reilly just the same.’ It is probable that the songwriter, H. Pease, was using an already existing catchphrase, but the song would have made it more widely known.

Phrases

by (or with) your leave

1
With your permission: with your leave, I will send him your address
More example sentences
  • Even by your leave Robin, it is not fitting for my order to strike a yeoman for fear an injury he may receive.
  • Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker), and with your leave, Mr. O'Brien, he will speak to amendment No.27 in a moment.
  • And finally, with your leave, I'll sit down and satisfy my cravings of to-day, and leave to-morrow to shift for itself - who knows but what I may secure both this and that?

take one's leave

2
formal Say goodbye: he went to take his leave of his hostess
More example sentences
  • Our guests smile - The Artist's smile is rather perfunctory - and we take our leave of each other.
  • It is time to leave for home, and we take our leave of these gracious and courteous researchers.
  • Then she took her leave of Master Robert, and prayed him for his blessing, and so forth of other friends.
Synonyms
bid farewell to, say goodbye to

take leave of one's senses

3
see sense.

Definition of leave in:

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There are 3 main definitions of leave in English:

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leave3

Syllabification: leave
Pronunciation: /lēv
 
/

verb

Put forth leaves.

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